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USTA FL Friday Blog: Roddick Debut on FOX Sports 1; Tennis on TV

August 16, 2013 09:41 AM
Fox_Sports_1
Andy Roddick (second from left) and the Fox Sports 1 crew
Andy Roddick will debut tomorrow when Fox Sports 1, the 24/7 national sports network set to launch this weekend and challenge ESPN, leaps into the cable sports news fray. If you're looking for it on your cable line-up, it replaces the Fox-owned Speed motorsports channel, which appears in roughly 90 million homes. The nightly Fox Sports Live is looking to challenge ESPN's flagship SportsCenter. Roddick is joined by an ecclectic talent line-up including Regis Philbin, former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb, Ephraim Salaam, Gary Payton, Jay Onrait, Dan O'Toole, and Charissa Thompson who jumped ship from ESPN.

Bigger turned out not to be better for Roger Federer, who after switching back to his smaller-head racquet is into the quarterfinals this week at Cincinnati, yesterday coming through with a comeback three-set win over former world No. 2 and pal Tommy Haas. Roger says the racquet experiment will continue when he gets a little more down time.

roofThe US Open is getting a roof. Two actually. "We had to find out how to support 5,000 tons of steel on soil that is mush," said project designer Matt Rossetti. A roof will be put on the main Arthur Ashe Stadium and on a new 15,000-seat Louis Armstrong Stadium, all part of a $550 million renovation expected to be completed by the 2018 tournament. Why does the US Open need a roof? How about the last five men's singles finals being delayed or rescheduled due to rain. Check here for an artist's rendering of the new build-out and grounds.


US Open Wildcards Announced

USTA national this week announced the U.S. young guns and international recipients of wildcards for the US Open beginning Monday, Aug. 26.

Bradenton's Ryan Harrison headlines the group of American men granted wildcards that includes comeback player Brian Baker, 2010 NCAA singles champion Bradley Klahn, 2011 NCAA singles finalist Rhyne Williams, Tim Smyczek, and 2013 USTA Boys' 18s champion Collin Altamirano.

Australia's James Duckworth and France's Guillaume Rufin will also receive wildcards through reciprocal agreements between the USTA and the international players' respective tennis federations.
 
Players receiving wildcards into the qualifying draw were 2013 USTA Boys' 18s National Championship runner-up Jared Donaldson (16, Cumberland, R.I.), 2011 French Open boys' champion Bjorn Fratangelo (20, Pittsburgh, Pa.), Gage Brymer (Irvine, Claif.), Mackenzie McDonald (Piedmont, Calif.), Jarmere Jenkins (22, College Park, Ga.), Mitchell Krueger (19, Fort Worth, Texas), UCLA sophomore Dennis Novikov (19, San Jose, Calif.), Noah Rubin (17, Rockville Centre, N.Y.), and Tennys Sandgren (22, Gallatin, Tenn.).

Florida's USTA Girls' 18s national champion Sachia Vickery is among the women's wildcards, which include two-time NCAA singles champion Nicole Gibbs, U.S. Fed Cup team member Vania King, Alison Riske, Shelby Rogers and Maria Sanchez.

Reciprocal Grand Slam wildcards also went to Australia's Ashleigh Barty and France's Pauline Parmentier.
 
King is another Floridian, with the 24 year old residing in Boynton Beach. A tour veteran, King won her first WTA singles titles as a teenager in Bangkok in 2006 and is an eight-time U.S. Fed Cup team member. The 18-year-old Vickery lives in Hollywood, Fla., and trains at the USTA Player Development Headquarters in Boca Raton.

Three additional Floridians are among the players receiving wildcards into the qualifying: former US Open Playoffs-Florida winner Jan Abaza (18, Deerfield Beach, Fla.), Brooke Austin (17, Indianapolis, Ind.), Louisa Chirico (17, Harrison, N.Y.), Victoria Duval (18, Delray Beach, Fla.), Allie Kiick (18, Plantation, Fla.), Jamie Loeb (18, Ossining, N.Y.), University of Florida freshman Brianna Morgan (19, Beverly Hills, Calif.), and Taylor Townsend (17, Chicago), who made history in 2012 as the first American girl in 30 years to hold the year-end No. 1 world junior ranking.

One more qualifying wildcard each for the men and women will be decided next week when the US Open National Playoffs-National Championships are completed in New Haven.
 

Isner, Serena Fly U.S. Flag Friday in Cincinnati

Isner01The marquis matches keep coming today at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, where John Isner will today meet world No. 1 Novak Djokovic.

Isner advanced into the quarters yesterday with a 7-6(5), 6-4 win over a weakened Milos Raonic of Canada, who was experiencing shoulder pain that hindered the serve that propelled him to the Rogers Cup Montreal final last week.

"Going in, both of us, our main weapons are our serves," Isner said. "But I think what needs to be said is I don't think Milos -- he wasn't 100 percent today. So I'm not going to sit here and say I beat a 100 percent healthy Milos...He didn't have his normal pop on his serve today like he usually does. Unfortunate for him, I guess. Fortunate for me."

Isner is 1-3 career against Djokovic, with the lone win coming last year on hardcourt at Indian Wells in a patented Isner third-set tiebreak.

While Isner is the last American man standing in Cincinnati, world No. 1 Serena Williams is the last American women remaining after unseeded Sloan Stephens was defeated yesterday by No. 14 seed and former No. 1 Jelena Jankovic.

Serena advanced into the quarters with a breezy 6-4, 6-1 win over German Mona Barthel. She will next meet Simona Halep, who upset No. 11 seed Sam Stosur.

The world No. 1 remains unhappy with her play in Cincinnati, in her first match needing to come back from a set down against Canadian teen Eugenie Bouchard.

"I always struggle here," Williams said Thursday. "I've got to get used to everything. It's so different from the rest of the tournaments I've been playing. I can't quite figure out why I'm always a little off. But champions adjust."


Tennis on TV This Weekend

Friday
11am-5pm -- ATP/WTA Cincinnati, ESPN2
7-9pm -- -- ATP/WTA Cincinnati, ESPN2

Saturday
1-5pm -- ATP/WTA Cincinnati, ESPN2
7-11pm -- ATP/WTA Cincinnati, ESPN2

Sunday
12:30-3:30pm -- ATP Cincinnati, CBS
4-6pm -- WTA Cincinnati, ESPN2
 
The USTA Florida Friday blog is written by USTA Florida Communications Coordinator Rick Vach, former publications editor for the ATP World Tour and former editor/publisher of International Tennis and Play Tennis Florida magazine. Got feedback, want a USTA or tennis-related question answered in the blog, or want to express your opinion? E-mail HERE.

 

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